Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving in a Pie

Last week I gave you what I thought was a pretty innovative twist on stuffing: Turkey Stuffing Muffins. But this week I give you the whole Thanksgiving meal in one pie. Yes, between a flaky bottom and top sage buttermilk biscuit crust resides slices of roast turkey breast, gravy, mashed potatoes, roasted green beans and bread stuffing. Layer upon layer of goodness that just requires heating up in the oven. 

And you don't have to do it yourself. This Thanksgiving Pie is made by Elizabeth Harris of Betty's Pie Whole in Encinitas.

The Pie Whole is the second incarnation of a space that she first launched as Elizabethan Desserts. She moved that retro dessert shop up to El Camino Real and then transformed the place, which sits in a corner of Sunshine Nursery, into a Western saloon-themed pie shop. Her regular menu is a mix of savory and sweet, plus soups and sides. Think items like Mama Jo's Meatball Pot Pie or the vegetarian Eat-Yer-Greens Pie with spinach, kale, mushrooms, ricotta, mozzerella, fontina, and parmesan. 

But Thanksgiving takes the menu to a whole other level of uniqueness. This Thanksgiving Pie--whether a traditional 9-incher ($45) that feeds about 10 people or the individual sized--has all the components of the feast, including its richness. And while it may sound weird, it works. The turkey is moist and tender, the beans still have bite to them. The mashed potatoes are luxurious creaminess, and the stuffing has nice chew. And the gravy rounds it all out. Missing the cranberry sauce? Don't. Harris adds some cranberry chipotle sauce for you to serve on the side. You can get it par-baked with instructions for finishing the baking process or already baked with instructions for reheating. And, hey, if you're already good with your Thanksgiving menu, you can have it after Thanksgiving. She'll be baking them through the holidays.

The Thanksgiving Pie doesn't have to be the only one on the table. You can also have your side dishes in a pie. Try the Grace's Mac n' Cheese Pie ($30 for a 9-inch pie), for an indulgence of creamy five-cheese sauce blended with elbow macaroni and encased in a soft garlic bread crust.

And don't forget the sweets. From traditional apple, pecan, and pumpkin pies to sour cherry, pumpkin crumble, Mississippi Mud, and Apple Pecan Bread Pudding with caramel sauce, you have plenty of choices.

You can pre-order the 9-inch pies. Betty's Pie Whole is located at 155 Quail Gardens Dr. in Encinitas. The phone number is760-230-6781. Email is

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